Lesson 4 Study Notes

  • Hello friends, Bishop Andy C. Luter here and I'm coming to you in this, my fourth and final lesson in this mini course on the Egyptian Mother of Moses. Now in this particular lesson, I will be looking at Christian practices. Now, in my first lesson, I looked at the story, the narrative of Moses's Egyptian mother.
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And then in the second item and lesson, I actually delved into the background and provided you some history and background on this text and story that you may not have been aware of prior to this mini-course. The last time I came and actually discussed

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Christian doctrines that are a derivative of the story of today, I am finalizing this mini-course by looking at some common Christian practices and beliefs and behaviorisms that we ought to affirm affirm and deploy as a consequence of this story. I'm very, very grateful that I had the opportunity to share this with you. And as always, friends, it is my hope, even my prayer,

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that what we discuss over these next several minutes shall prove productive and that it will enhance your walk with the Lord greatly. So with that said, let's get started on this fourth and final lesson. Here is my overview of this particular lesson.

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The story of Pharaoh's daughter adopting Moses provides several insights into Christian practices and behaviors. Here are six common practices or behaviors that can be derived from this narrative or this story of Moses's Egyptian Pharaoh's daughter who adopted him as an infant as she drew him out of the river called the Nile.

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Now, this is very, very important because in addition to the more state and academic and perhaps even scholastic doctrines that we talked about before, I want to talk about some everyday items, some attitudes and perspectives, and perhaps even some behavior that we ought to employ because we are conscious of this story and because this story makes a meaningful impact upon our lives as it relates to an everyday practice on our part. So the first of the six, and there are six items, six very practical behaviors or practices that I want to discuss with you

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that are attached to this story of Moses and his Egyptian adopted mother. The first of those six is compassion. Pharaoh's daughter showed compassion. Christians are encouraged to demonstrate compassion and mercy to those in need,

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reflecting God's love and grace in their actions. Now, we cannot call ourselves Christian without demonstrating some compassion on some part and on some level. And so, as we look through the lens of the story, one of the things that we are brought to in terms of a conclusion is the very real need that we have to demonstrate compassion in our lives. We all come across situations that we can so readily ignore, but the truth of the matter is that as Christians, watch this, one of the calling cards of Christianity is our compassion.

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Now, I spend a great deal of time in New York City, walking the streets of New York City, sightseeing like so many other people do. And of course, there's no time that I go to New York City that I don't come upon people who are literally on the street, whether it's the summer, the heat of the summer, or the frigidity of the winter. There are always people on the street with signs,

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usually spread across their dresser cup, a bowl, or some other receptacle where they are what the Bible would have called begging for alms. Now, the vast majority of people pass them by, pay them little or no attention. I make a habit, beloved, and while it is not a constant or a everyday practice of mine, I do make a habit when I come across those who look genuinely in love, and I know that's a subjective term because they have to look genuinely and authentically in need from my perspective and from where I am sitting.

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But I do try and make a habit of donating to their situation. Now, you may say that they display literally and honestly say, please give me money so I can go get some weed. But that is not the issue. The issue is that I am not doing, I'm not performing this act so much for them as I am so much as a reflection of my own Christian compassion.

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And then here's the other thing that I think of. I have children, I have nieces and nephews, I have cousins and other members of my family. And I never know when they may end up in the very same situation that I am seeing here on the streets of New York.

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And so one of the reasons I donate to these individuals is because I would hope that if any of my family or people that I know find themselves in this situation, that they would come across people who would show as much compassion as I am attempting to show to them. And so one of the virtues, one of the behaviorisms, one of the practices that I think that we ought to demonstrate is that of Christian compassion. Okay, let's go to the second of six.

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And that is vulnerability. Christians are called to protect and advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized in society, such as orphans, widows, refugees, and others who are in need of protection and support. One of the things that we see in the life of Jesus

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repeatedly is the sensitivity, beloved, that he had for those whom life had dealt a severe blow. Many of the blessings and signs and wonders that he performed, he performed for people who were unable to protect themselves and unable to provide for themselves. So when I combine what I see in the life and the ministry of Jesus with this storyline that I find in the book of Exodus as it relates to Moses,

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I am impacted and I am impressed that this woman who was a member of the royal family and certainly did not have to go out of her way to do anything kind, that she takes the time to protect the vulnerable. Now, remember Moses is in a basket. He is floating down the Nile.

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There are animals and creatures in that Nile River that very easily could have devoured Moses and so he was in a state of vulnerability. And the point that I'm trying to make here as Christians, when we recognize the vulnerability of others, it ought not cause us to race in the opposite direction, but rather it should compel us to do all that we can to remove them from that state. Because the truth of the matter is, we don't know when we might be in that state. And if we take a look at what Jesus said,

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do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. I am sure that you would agree that if you were in a state of vulnerability and you needed provision and protection, you would want someone to be kind to you. And if that is the case,

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then certainly you want to be kind to others in anticipation of others being kind to you if you find yourself in that kind of situation. All right, I've given you two. Let me give you a third one. The act of adopting Moses can inspire Christians

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to consider adoption and foster care as ways to provide loving homes for children in need. Now, this is something that is very, very close to my heart. I grew up with the Hollywood Full Gospel. Well, it wasn't the Hollywood Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral when I was growing up. It was actually the Hollywood Baptist Church later,

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the Hollywood Baptist Church of Christ. But I saw up close and personal foster families, both in the congregation in Hollywood and then in the congregation that I first pastored in There were families, I see them in my mind's eye even now, the Wadlow family, the Waller family, the Blount family, the Wilson family. And these were individuals within our community who counted it not robbery to share their home and their resources with individuals who were less fortunate than themselves, especially

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in the area of children. And there were so many families. And the other thing that I so well recall is that many of these families had children of their own. And you could not detect the difference between how they treated their biological children or the children who were their kin and the children who were part of the foster care system. When we look at Moses and the decision of this woman, this daughter of Pharaoh, to adopt Moses, we see that as an inspiration for similar kind of behavior on our own part. I grew up here on Long Island in Amityville.

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I'm back at that congregation. And I have seen this model of foster care and adoption work in the lives of the people who call themselves Christian. So, we cannot be like ostriches and stick our head in the sand. But I applaud and I thank God, and I commend those individuals who, in part, because of their knowledge of the story of Pharaoh's daughter, have opened their homes and provided care and nurture and cultivation to children in particular, who may not have had that kind of opportunity otherwise. And then there is this reaction to what is literally labeled unjust laws. One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. And that comes to us from none other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Christians may find themselves called to stand against unjust laws and practices, advocating for justice and righteousness. Now, this was something very, very real to me not too long ago, because at the time of this recording, there were literally hundreds of students, thousands of students all across America who were protesting what was going on in the Middle East. And I found myself slow to make commentary or pass judgment on what they were doing because I so well remember that in the late 1960s, early 1970s, when I was of the collegiate age of so many of these students who are protesting now,

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when it was my time, my turn, I was involved in protest movements. I literally got kicked out of my local high school for protesting an incident, a racial-inspired incident that took place in my local high school. I grew up in the shadows of the Black Panthers and the Black Muslims and the Black militant and Black power movement. I was just literally weeks away from having been drafted

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into the U.S. Army at the time of the Vietnam War. And I was an anti-war protester at the very same time that Dr. Martin Luther King came out against the war in Vietnam. And so it would have been very hypocritical of me now to complain and criticize and judge young people who were finding it in their heart and in their conscious to stand against and to protest that which they view as being unjust.

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And just as I had the opportunity to do that, now some 60 or 50 years ago, I certainly recognize the right of this current generation to do the same thing. The point that I wanna make here is that because there was a law that the Pharaoh had passed

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that all male children would be put to death. He literally, Pharaoh did, instructed his midwives to put to death all male children. I talked to you on another occasion that there actually was an ancient prophetic word amongst the Egyptians that talked about a male child that would

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liberate the Hebrews from their Egyptian slavery. This was indeed an unjust law. It was disobeyed, watch where I'm going now. It was disobeyed by the people that the instructions and the commandments were given to. It was given to the midwives and the midwives ended up

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in many instances, disobeying what was an unjust law. The adoption, watch this, beloved, the taking of Moses by Pharaoh's daughter was a disobedience, was a disobeying of the local unjust law at that time. Then of course, in another lesson I shared with you, that the Midrash reports that there was a Shekinah glory,

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an anointing obviously, and apparently on the life and the face and the body of Moses so much so until when this infant Moses was placed in the arms of Pharaoh. Pharaoh himself rescinded

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or Pharaoh himself broke the very law that he had made against Hebrew male children. The point being that as Christians, we are oft times called upon to stand for what is right and that might require that we stand against what is obviously unjust laws. Then let's look at God's divine plan. shows that God has a plan for each individual,

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even in difficult circumstances. Christians are encouraged to trust in God's providence and timing. I am sure that all of you can say that there have been moments in your life when you were at a point or a moment of indecision.

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And yet, as you were able to follow God's plan, as God's plan became real and relevant to you, you had the option and the choice to follow God's plan for your life. Again, this is a story that is very, very close to me because the truth of the matter is I spent all of my junior high school years and my high school years predicting that I was going to become an attorney. I had a fondness and affection to become an international lawyer. And that's what I certainly intended to do. The polish and the oratory, the familiarity

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with rhetoric that I developed over the years, I anticipated I would be using in arguing cases in courts of law. Of course, I later discovered that God had a different plan for my life. I actually completed the first year of law school at Harvard Law School. I was in a dual degree program, a five-year program that at the end of five years would have yielded me

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a theological degree from Harvard Divinity School as well as a law degree from Harvard Law School. After the first year of studies, I was called to a church back in New York. It became painfully clear to me that I was not going to be able to pastor this church full-time and study law full-time at the law school and study theology full-time at the divinity school and that I needed to

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make some choices. And wow, it had been my plan, watch where I'm going, beloved, while plan to pursue legal studies in terms of my future. God had a different plan. I almost, with a bit of comedic relief, oft times say that God didn't allow me to get too far down the road in terms of Harvard Law School because he knew that if I got close to the finish line, it might be difficult to get my attention later on to do his work and his will in ministry. If I had this law degree tucked under my arm,

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I may have been again difficult to be turned around and to go in the direction of ministry when I had legal opportunities available to me as well. The point that I wanna make here is that God has a plan for each and every one of us. And some of your time of prayer,

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and some of your time of fasting, some of your time of meditation ought to be spent with you inquiring and discovering what it is that God wants you to do. Because the truth of the matter is, beloved, that sometimes what we want to do

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and what God wants us to do are not always identical, not always the same. And so I admonish and I encourage you to seek out God's will for your life and to pursue the same. And then I want to close here with the sixth behaviorism or the sixth common practice that we can illustrate as Christians as a result of the story of Moses being adopted by Pharaoh's daughter. Christians are called to nurture and mentor others, particularly the younger generation, guiding them in their faith and helping them to grow in their relationship

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with God and their understanding of his purpose. Now, again, Pharaoh's daughter takes Moses into her custody and care and gives to him the very best, watch this, the very best that Egypt had to offer. His tutors were the best in the kingdom. His training was the best in the kingdom. His education was the best in the kingdom. He learned how to read and write. And that is perhaps why God would later use him to deliver the Ten Commandments, because he had acquired under the nurturing and the mentoring of Pharaoh's daughter, he had learned how to read, he had learned how to write.

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And so he had competence in that area. Maybe that is why God chose to use him in the delivery of the 600 dietary laws, in the delivery of the 147 statutory laws, because he could, he had mastered an amount of learning that served him well when it was time to lead the children of Israel. The truth of the matter is,

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and I've said this to you before, you do not know what it is that you're going through that God is going to use later on in your life. And another lesson, I talked about Deacon Clifford Lewis, who always put me on the spot in Sunday school, but the tools that I learned, having been put on the spot so many times, are the tools that I'm learning even today. When I got to high school, I had an English teacher by the name of Paul Winger. He took

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one listen to my voice and encouraged me to join the speech team. I was a part of an event called Original Oratory. Watch where I'm going, beloved. And Original Oratory required the student or the to deliver an original composition. This could not be copied from somewhere else. It couldn't be somebody else's speech. There was declamation, dramatic interpretation

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where you could take a play or a poem or you could take somebody else's speech, but that was for freshmen and sophomores. As a junior in a senior original oratory was the event that I would participate in. And this had to be original composition,

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but here is what I want to share with you. Not only did it have to be an original composition, but you had to deliver it without notes. You could not stand with a manuscript, you could not stand with cards or any other item that would enable you to deliver this speech in front of the other contestants and the judges judges that were reviewing your performance. And so in my junior year,

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I won local championships in original oratory. I won a Long Island championship. My senior year, I won the state championship in this event called the original oratory. I competed on a national level and was recognized as one of the 12 best speakers

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of original oratory in all of the country. Now, here's where I'm going with this. Original oratory required that you deliver this eight to 10 minute speech without notes. So I learned how to speak publicly without notes as a junior and senior in high school.

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And I can't tell you how many people have come to me and have remarked to me how impressed they are that my sermons and my delivery and my comment, oftentimes, are done without notes, without manuscript. I remember a deacon in Boston, Massachusetts, who would say to me, Luther is not a goat preacher. You know, goats had the reputation for eating paper. And that was his way of saying that he was impressed with the fact that I could preach sermons in their entirety without referring to a note, without referring to a card, without referring to a piece of paper or a manuscript.

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Well, I learned that in my junior year of high school and my senior year of high school. And at the time, I did not know that this was going to become one of the characteristic calling cards of my preaching ministry, because even now, while I may make notes in preparation for preaching, my actual delivery is done without notes. And so I look back on the story of Pharaoh's daughter and all that she provided Moses with, education, learning, exposure, nobility, civic behavior, military behavior, organizational skills, administrative skills, the ability to read and write. All

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of these items that he was nurtured with, that he was mentored with, he would use later on when God put him in position to lead the children of Israel. It just may be that God has done some things in your past that you did not recognize or attach to where you are today, but he used those events and he used those experiences of the past to better equip you to do what God wants you to do today. Well, friends, again, that takes up just about all my time and I certainly thank you for yours. I am Andy Saluda, and this is the fourth and final lesson

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in my mini course on the Egyptian mother of Moses. I pray that it has positively impacted your life and that you have gleaned something from this course and its individual lessons that you can use in your life. Listen, you know, God loves you, we love you. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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 Until next time, go in peace, go in love, go in joy, and go in Until next time, go in peace, go in love, go in joy, and go in happiness. For the author of the same goes with you. Amen.
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